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VRÜ Verfassung und Recht in Übersee, page 3 - 4

VRÜ, Volume 47 (2014), Issue 1, ISSN: 0506-7286, ISSN online: 0506-7286, https://doi.org/10.5771/0506-7286-2014-1-3

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Editorial The majority of people in the Global South lives in poverty and has no – or only insufficient – access to basic social protection systems. According to the data of the International Labour Organization (ILO), “only 20 per cent of the world’s population has adequate social security coverage and more than half lack any coverage at all”.1 While many academic debates have focused on the economic, political and sociological aspects of this global problem and much has also been written on social rights in general, this special issue wants to shine a more focused light on the protection not of social rights in general but on the right to social security in particular. It presents five in-depth case studies on India, Brazil, South Africa, Ghana and Vietnam as well as an analysis of the overarching international human right to social security, analyzing the often highly innovative but also contentious ways in which countries in the Global South are deploying the law to protect basic needs and produce social change. There are several legal layers to be considered in this context. There is of course the international legal framework: Apart from the basic ILO obligations and the social protection guarantees laid down in global and regional conventions on human rights, a considerable number of recommendations of international development organisations and other soft lawdocuments provide further authoritative orientation both for drawing up new and for reforming existing social protection systems. In recent years, the subject has been discussed intensively on the international level because the global economic and financial crisis has emphatically demonstrated the urgent need for some kind of social protection for all people around the globe. Outcomes of this debate are, among others, a new Communication of the European Commission on social protection issues in EU development cooperation, the revised Social Protection and Labor Strategy of the World Bank, and the Social Protection Floors Recommendation of the ILO. Even more dynamic and innovative, but much less studied is the domestic plane. Most constitutions in the world include – explicitly or implicitly – the right to social security, and nearly all countries have social protection systems established by statute and parliamentary laws. Be it the Bolsa Família program in Brazil or the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act in India, to name only two examples, there is a whole new wave of domestic legislation that is attempting to put the human right to social security into more concrete, more tangible legal forms, often using highly innovative mechanisms. It is these attempts that the current issue of “Verfassung und Recht in Übersee / Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America” studies, providing insights both into the efforts of five countries on three continents (Brazil, Ghana, India, South Africa and Vietnam) to reform the ex- 1 http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/social-security/lang--en/index.htm. 3 isting protection schemes or even to set up new systems and into the general political debate on the relevance of social security law for the development process. Markus Kaltenborn / Philipp Dann Bochum / Gießen 4 Verfassung und Recht in Übersee VRÜ 47 (2014)

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"Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America" analyses legal and constitutional developments in all states or regions outside of Europe as well as their regional and international integration. Founded in 1968 and inspired by decolonization and the idea of a cooperative new beginning, the Journal also promotes a special interest in contributions on 'Law and development'. The journal aims to provide a forum for a variety of perspectives on these fields of interest, be they focused on one country or comparative, theoretical or methodological in nature. Next to extensive articles, the journal publishes shorter reports about current events or conferences as well as book reviews. As a special service, each issue of "Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America" contains an international bibliography of relevant publications from around the world. This is compiled in cooperation with the Leibniz-Institute for Global and Regional Studies in Hamburg (GIGA). "Law and Politics" addresses authors and readers on all continents and aims to serve as a forum of mutual exchange. The journal is open for contributions from legal and social sciences as well as for analyses from practitioners. The journal is published quarterly and welcomes contributions in German, English, Spanish and French. Website: www.vrue.nomos.de


"Verfassung und Recht in Übersee (VRÜ)" analysiert die Verfassungs- und Rechtsentwicklung in den Staaten Asiens, Afrikas und Lateinamerikas sowie deren regionale wie internationale Einbindung. Die Zeitschrift widmet sich verfassungsvergleichend Regionen ausserhalb Europas unter Einbeziehung theoretischer und methodischer Grundlagen. Gegründet 1968 und inspiriert von Dekolonialisation und kooperativem Aufbruch veröffentlicht sie nicht zuletzt Untersuchungen zum Entwicklungsrecht.

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